Imagine how it would be like if you could travel anywhere around the world under an hour. Well, going beyond the imaginations, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk unveiled an interplanetary rocket system for long-distance travel on Earth.
Musk on Friday showed a demonstration of the idea onstage, claiming that it will allow passengers to take ‘most long-distance trips’ in just 30 minutes, and go ‘anywhere on Earth in under an hour’ for around the same price as an economy airline ticket.
Musk proposed using SpaceX’s forthcoming mega-rocket BFR (understood to stand for “Big F…ing Rocket”) to lift a massive spaceship into orbit around the Earth. The ship would then settle down on floating landing pads near major cities. Both the new rocket and spaceship are currently theoretical, though Musk did say that he hopes to begin construction on the rocket in the next six to nine months.
In SpaceX’s video that illustrates the idea, passengers take a large boat from a dock in New York City to a floating launchpad out in the water. There, they board the same rocket that Musk wants to use to send humans to Mars by 2024. But instead of heading off to another planet once they leave the Earth’s atmosphere, the ship separates and breaks off toward another city — Shanghai.
Just 39 minutes and some 7,000 miles later, the ship reenters the atmosphere and touches down on another floating pad, much like the way SpaceX lands its Falcon 9 rockets at sea. Other routes proposed in the video include Hong Kong to Singapore in 22 minutes, London to Dubai or New York in 29 minutes, and Los Angeles to Toronto in 24 minutes.